May 2022
April Job Gains Strong, Lags in Key Sectors Continue
April saw a gain of 29,700 jobs over the previous month, yet recovery in key industries continues to lag, according to the most recent monthly jobs report from the Gulf Coast Workforce Board/Workforce Solutions.

The Houston MSA total Nonfarm employment (not seasonally adjusted) stood at 3,198,300 with a gain of 29,700 jobs over the previous month. February 2020, total Nonfarm employment stood at 3,192,200, so the region is +6,100 from pre-pandemic levels. March 2022’s gain of 1,700 jobs was revised upward by 4,400 jobs, for a net gain of 6,100 jobs. The Houston MSA unemployment rate (not seasonally adjusted) stood at 4.1% (with 143,736 people unemployed) which is down from 4.4% in February (with 151,576 people unemployed). The Texas statewide rate in March was 3.7% and nationwide rate was 3.3%.

Data show full recovery to pre-pandemic employment in the transportation, warehousing and utilities; retail; education and health; financial activities; government; and wholesale trade industries. However, some key sectors responsible for the region’s growth still lag, including the mining and logging; manufacturing; professional and business services; and construction industries.

See Workforce Solutions' Local Employment Statistics.
Higher Education Commissioner to Visit Houston Forum
Harrison Keller is the commissioner of the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board
Earlier this year, the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB) released a new report highlighting the critical importance of post-secondary education and continued skills development — "Building a Talent Strong Texas." This strategic plan for higher education comes at a crucial time as employers and workers are adapting to a changing economy that requires increased skills and credentials beyond high school diplomas.

On June 2, we will welcome Dr. Harrison Keller, Commissioner of Higher Education with the THECB, to discuss the workforce implications of this new plan for the Gulf Coast region, including the important workforce mission of the region's community colleges.

Ensuring all Texans within our regional and state workforce develop relevant skills and obtain credentials of value is paramount to growing our economy and securing – and advancing – our place in the global economy of the future. Community colleges will be essential institutions to provide the skills training necessary to achieve the goal.

Texas House Higher Education Committee Hears Workforce, Education Insights
Commissioner of Higher Education Dr. Harrison Keller; Peter Beard, Greater Houston Partnership senior vice president of regional workforce development and leader of the UpSkill Houston initiative; and H.D. Chambers, superintendent of Alief ISD and a member of UpSkill Houston's executive committee, were among the workforce and education leaders who testified in early May before the Texas House of Representatives Higher Education Committee on innovating and optimizing an education and workforce system.
Beard highlighted the work of the UpSkill Houston and Houston Back on Track initiatives and our partners to strengthen a system that supports both incumbent workers and young adults entering a workforce that is changing at an increasingly rapid pace. Chambers highlighted initiatives underway within K-12 education with direct impacts to the committee's work and the need for students for receive additional support as they move into higher education opportunities and into the workforce.

A recording of the full session is available from the Texas State Senate here.
Houston Back on Track Poised to Reach New Audiences
Houston Back on Track is getting closer to the launch of an outreach campaign that will significantly increase awareness about career opportunities in Houston’s underserved communities. We have partnered with Citrus Advertising, a firm that is working with us to craft a new approach to leveraging our social media platforms, improve our website, and help us promote our efforts in PSAs and ads. This will be the summer of Houston Back on Track. Look for our behind-the-scenes work to begin going public in June, with increased visibility in July. All this work is intended to reach target audiences in Houston neighborhoods, whose residents have been underemployed for too long. With the help of our community, education, and employer partners, we plan to improve the economic mobility and prosperity of many fellow Houstonians.

Mayor's Office Hosts Regional Job & Resource Fair June 11
Jobseekers from all age groups and all areas across greater Houston are invited to meet employers and learn about a wide variety of job-supporting resources during an open job fair hosted by the City of Houston Mayor's Office of Education. This large-scale event will be held at the George R. Brown Convention Center and will feature employers large and small from around the region including with McDonald's, United Airlines, and the City of Houston, among others. Jobseekers will have the opportunity to meet with employers and participate in on-the-spot interviews.

This job fair is open to the public and does not require applicants to pre-register or be pre-screened.

More information for jobseekers can be found at Employers can still register to participate here.

Workforce Development
Events & Opportunities
  • Ongoing: Workforce Solutions; Upcoming hiring events and trainings listed by Workforce Solutions
  • Ongoing:; Upcoming training programs listed by BridgeYear
  • June 2: UpSkill Works Forum: Building a Talent Strong Texas; Commissioner for Higher Education Dr. Harrison Keller joins this UpSkill Works Forum for an interactive fireside chat focused on the the importance of post-secondary education in building a Talent Strong Texas and the workforce implications of the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board's new "Building a Talent Strong Texas" plan on our region and regional community colleges
  • June 8: Illuminate Houston: An Innovation Conversation; This Partnership event features a discussion with Gaurab Chakrabarti, CEO and co-founder of Solugen
  • June 9: BLAST Webinar Series: Dual Credit and PTECH Learning Opportunities; The fourth session in this series from the Business Leaders Advancing Skills in Texas coalition will focus on the integration of high school and community college learning opportunities
  • June 9: Why Houston Series: Key Global Industries; This installment of the Partnership's Why Houston webinar series features a keynote presentation from Bill McKeon, president and CEO of the Texas Medical Center
  • June 11: Hire Houston Youth Job & Resource Fair; This job and resource fair hosted by the City of Houston and held at the George R. Brown Convention Center is open to youth and adult jobseekers and employers from across the greater Houston region
  • June 17: Future of Texas; State Senator Carol Alvarado is the featured speaker during this Partnership series event
  • June 21: President's Address; Bob Harvey, Partnership president and CEO, will address Partnership members updates on the organization's work related to economic development, public policy and other key initiatives critical to the Houston region’s long-term economic success
  • June 29 & 30: Future of Global Energy Conference; This in-person and virtual conference spotlights how the Partnership's Houston Energy Transition Initiative (HETI) is advancing the work on its Blueprint for Progress. Attendees can learn about global and national perspectives around energy transition, Houston's role in leading this transition, and other key topics around Carbon Capture, Usage and Storage (CCUS), hydrogen, decarbonization, innovation and fostering climate equity in Houston's energy transition
Resources & Readings
Led by and for employers, UpSkill Houston builds the pipeline of skilled workers to grow the regional economy and provide opportunity for all Houstonians.
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